Walking through the London streets, Fitzrovia and Bloomsbury, I am thinking about the significance of the marginal figures Rhys writes about, her chorus girls and landladies. There is something radical going on in her portrayals of characters who wouldn't usually form the focus of literary fiction. She re-writes the script through these marginal characters, and they make a trajectory through all her novels.
Voyage begins with this sense of cold, this moment in the journey when the feeling of cold arrived and this lack was felt also as an absence of light and colour. The feeling things gave you deep down inside. Anna’s voyage and her life in England is portrayed as a form of exile; she is divided and experiences a sense of unreality, of existing in a dream. For Anna, England is a cold, claustrophobic and conforming place, of long streets and rows of houses all exactly alike.
The fascination with snow, the blank page, the metaphors of discovery, of snow and ice, of mountains and icebergs, of movement through empty space. The epic struggle in the everyday, of being in ice.
Through Jean Rhys I am finding a way to write about prisons, and escape. The prisons we find ourselves in, and prisons of our own making.
On the Métro, I look at the signs listing the correspondances that connect to other lines, other stations. Correspondances seems a good way to describe it, and to introduce my section of notes on the books I read, or films and photographs that correspond to my own writing in some way, that correlate with my interests. I am thinking about meeting points, the points of connection to other lines, other destinations.
I knew then that the streets had already started to seep under my skin. It is something to do with motion, and the repeated retracing of steps. In the same way I keep returning to Rhys, and to the way she has infiltrated into my own experience.
Old Paris leaves its clues everywhere, like the way the old street names remain in some places, only crossed out.